The plan

Now that we have the GoPiGo robot kit to make the Raspberry Pi move, what are we going to do with it? Well, turn it into a proper autonomous robot pet, of course! A robot that can move about on its own, capture images, follow commands, and maybe even interact with humans and convey emotions. A robot that will impress, inspire, educate & entertain.

Feature ideas

An impression of the features that I plan to attempt in the time to come:

  • Exploration
    • Navigate the perimeter of a room
    • Create a map of a room
    • Detect home base, and keep track of its location
    • Detect & respond to movement
    • Track an object
  • Communication
    • Reporting / alerts / expression through blinks & bleeps
    • Report maps / pictures / events
    • Recognize visual cues
    • Receive commands (web interface / visual cues)
    • Live POV feed


In order to make all these ideas work, the hardware of the base kit will have to be expanded somewhat. In my first blog, I already noted that some extensions are needed to enable truely autonomous navigation. A compass is necessary to move straight, and also to make turns of a specified angle. A pan/tilt unit will enable the distance sensor to look up and down as well as left and right.

In addition to this navigational gear, I also plan to install a camera for surveillance and image recognition purposes, and of course no robot is complete without a bleeping buzzer and blinking lights. When all this is done, the robot will consist of the following parts:

  • Control
    • Raspberry Pi with WiFi connectivity
    • GoPiGo robot controller
  • Actuators
    • Two motors to drive the wheels
    • Two servos to turn the head left/right & up/down
  • Inputs
    • Ultrasonic distance sensor
    • Orientation sensor
    • Camera
  • Outputs
    • RGB LED array
    • Buzzer

Now, it would be nice to know how I am going to achieve all that, and whether it can all be connected and operated simultaneously… stay tuned for the next update!

Do you have any other ideas about what features I should definitely consider? Do you have special hardware in your own robot that is not mentioned here? Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “The plan

  1. Hello Mathijs,

    Nice and interesting this project you started. Have to read some more for better understanding. Lost track of electronics some 17 years ago. Nowadays things as Rasberry pi are introduced to by 13/14 years old students. My favorite electronics shop at the time still exists: Radio Centrum, Utrecht. Bought my first transistor there, the BC158.


    Your neighbour from number 2

    • Hi neighbour!

      Thanks for your comment! You are very welcome to come over and check it out sometime, I also serve (alcoholic) beverages to taste 😉


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